New coal power and steel projects announced in China in the first half of 2021 will emit CO2 equivalent to Netherland’s total emissions, reveals research organisation the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

Chinese coal miners at a coal plant in Huaibei, Anhui province, east China on 21th November 2015. Photo by Frame China via Shutterstock.

A total of 18 new blast furnace projects and 43 new coal-fired power plant units were announced; if approved and built, they will emit an estimated 150 million tonnes of CO2 a year, the report states.

Zero-emission power generation covered only 30% of the increase in power demand from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2021. This means investment in renewables and nuclear must triple to cover the rise in electricity demand at current growth rates, yet newly installed wind, solar and nuclear capacity all fell from 2020 levels.

For the steel sector, the proposed emission target for CO2 emissions to peak by 2025 and then fall by 30% from their peak level by 2030 will only be possible through a major shift towards recycled steel production or hydrogen-based steelmaking, the report says.

However, there has been no progress during the past 10 years in increasing the share of electric arc furnace or DRI steelmaking, the report states.